If the 2009 Big East season taught us anything, it was that newcomers can have a big impact.
From offensive player of the year Dion Lewis to Tom Savage and Mohamed Sanu to Jason Pierre-Paul to Greg Paulus, new faces were having an impact all over the league. So which newcomers to the Big East should we be keeping an eye on this spring? Here are a few candidates:
Vidal Hazelton, WR, Cincinnati: The USC transfer becomes eligible this season and could become an immediate star. He's got size, at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, and wowed onlookers at practice last year. Hazelton could help make sure the Bearcats don't miss a beat on offense this season without Mardy Gilyard.
Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia: The Mountaineers need some depth up front defensively, and Clarke should be able to help out after a redshirt year. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Pittsburgh native can use this spring to push for playing time at defensive end before highly regarded junior college transfer Bruce Irvin arrives this summer.
Darrell Givens, CB, Rutgers: Givens was an ESPNU 150 recruit who came to Rutgers after not being admitted to Penn State last year. He spent the 2009 season redshirting as the Scarlet Knights had Devin McCourty. Now may be Givens' time to shine with both McCourty and Billy Anderson gone. Also keep an eye on Logan Ryan, a fellow redshirt freshman corner who was neck and neck with Givens in practice sessions last year.
Claude Davis, DE, South Florida: The next Pierre-Paul? OK, that's expecting too much of anyone. But like the Bulls' one-year wonder, Davis was a junior college standout with excellent measurables (6-foot-4, 250 pounds). Unlike his predecessor, Davis enrolled in January and will get a full spring under his belt before entering major college football. And with Pierre-Paul and George Selvie both off to the NFL, there is ample playing time available.
Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh: Street wasn't one of Pitt's more heralded recruits from the class of 2009, but he won rave reviews last season as a member of the scout team. This spring provides an opportunity for the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder to show he's ready to become an option behind Jonathan Baldwin and Mike Shanahan in the Pitt passing game.